Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sundays With Buddha



Week Five

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.                                                                                    

I had such a moment of peace and validation when I turned to this passage. I have always felt this to be true. A few years ago, when I really started my journey along this new Spiritual Path, the realization of this became so strong I was almost frustrated with trying to lift the veil of illusion that I knew existed, just outside my reach. I finally had validation of what I had been feeling for so long. I often had many conversations with Noah on our evening walks discussing how I feel everything we see is but an illusion; so hard to describe, yet so frustrating to keep inside. I felt like I was talking "crazy" as if I could not ever talk like this in front of anyone else. Imagine my surprise when this quote revealed itself to me in such a synchronistic way. It really is so hard to explain all that I feel this one implies, but I will do my best to get my feelings across to you the best way that I can.

I really do feel that this quote has several levels of meaning or depth; different but same. I mentioned last Sunday that, when you begin to do a certain amount of work on yourself to learn how to release your attachment to material things (don't worry...I'm not talking about becoming an ascetic) you will probably start to realize that things should not and cannot make you happy. I do believe it is possible to pursue things and live with things that make you happy, and still remain unattached to them, so that if and when they "go away", you can let them go without fear or devastation at their loss. That is precisely what this quote says to me.

"A wise man," or one who studies himself and the meaning of the life he lives, comes to an understanding of these things by "recognizing that the world is but an illusion”, meaning that this world is not the ultimate in our happiness, it is but an illusion to happiness, as our true peace does not come from the material. Our happiness comes from inside us, not from without. All of these things which we strive for are false; temporary happiness. It is okay to work towards goals and dreams, for without gains and losses, we do not gain valuable lessons that we need for learning how to let go. With the help of these lessons, we learn to let go of things that we once had, but now are gone, without fear and pain. We realize, through the constant desiring of things with too strong of a passion, we cause ourselves great pain when those things cycle out of our lives.

If we can learn from this, surely we can become as the wise man who can recognize the world as illusion and "does not act as if it is real" by retaining our peace of mind even in the midst of loss, because we know that the things of the material world are not our source of happiness, and were never meant to be. In fact, always striving for something more can cause great pain when we do not achieve it, or we gain what we desire and lose it in some way. The constant worry of "losing" our things, from your coveted designer handbag to the house you've always dreamed about, can create a vibration in you that pulls to you more loss. This does not mean to be ashamed of hard work and the purchase of your "dream" home, but if you are trying to live from a place to impress someone, including yourself, you may not be living what you can afford; financially or Spiritually.

What peace do you get from your 'things' if they constantly have you in a state of worry and distress? When you get to know yourself, and what you can do to be happy, you'll be in harmony with a life that does not include comparing with others. It will not matter to you that you don't have what someone else has, because that part of the ego will have started to drop away. You are happy with your achievements because you no longer need more to validate you because you know that your possessions, or positions in life, do not define you. And if they do not define you, you are not destroyed if it all goes away. You can allow it to pass through your life because you know, as with the cycle of all things, more is on its way, and all is as it should be. You then are as the "wise man" and so you "escape the suffering".

I know this all sounds very good when talking about a handbag or some earrings, but I'm sure you're wondering about true, devastating loss, such as a home and all of your belongings after a disaster or your car after a financial crisis. Or even the death of a loved one. I've learned in my own studies that you don't have to be happy about your losses; loss does not usually denote joy. But being at peace with the way things are is necessary to escape the suffering you would otherwise feel by the excessive mourning of such losses. It sounds completely unattainable in certain circumstances, I know, but with time, patience and practice it can be achieved.

In this world that is "but an illusion", it is not only about possessions of value, but I believe our bodies, as well. Some may be holding on very tightly to their youth and appearance, worrying too much about how they are aging and not living the life laid out before them. What good is the youth you're chasing, if by the time you catch it, it's too late to use?

Then there is the loss of the body all together. This would be another interpretation of the "illusion". If this world that our bodies inhabit is an illusion, then can it be that our very bodies are also an illusion, as our Spiritual beings are our true selves? Just as we mustn't let our belongings define us, we also mustn't let our earthly bodies and human personalities define us, either. And, if our Divine beings are our true selves, then when our bodies die, is it just an end to that part of the illusion? We still mourn the loss of our loved ones, I know all too well the difficulty with that loss, but I try to keep in the forefront of my mind the idea that it is not the end of the being that inhabits the body, just the physical body, itself.

The more I practice this way of living, the more peace I have truly gained from letting go of the "illusion", and, though my journey has been in progress for the last 5 years, and I am by far not finished learning, I feel I am accomplishing a great end to my suffering.

This is why I write for you. I am so grateful for the events that triggered my Spiritual change and journey, and I am grateful for all the events that are my journey, that I give them to you in hopes that something in them might be the trigger for you to start searching, and finding your own answers, your own peace.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you today.
I wish you all the wonderfulness you deserve...



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